“Little Women” sang the night away at the Columbia Theatre


Chloe Williams

The four March sisters and Laurie having a laugh on the couch. “Little Women” performed at the Columbia Theatre on Oct. 6 and 7.

The Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop at Southeastern University presented “Little Women” at the Columbia Theatre on Oct. 6-7.

The show was produced by the director of the program Chuck Effler and had the honor of having guest director Leslie Castay for preparation of the show. Castay has been involved in projects such as the movie “Greenbook” and Broadway productions. 

“Little Women” is a musical based on the book by Louisa May Alcott that tells the story of four March sisters in the time during and after the Civil War. These women endure trials of love, loss and family throughout the story. 

This show has been in the works since Aug. 17, when they held auditions on the first day of classes and started rehearsals accordingly. 

Before the main show, some of the cast members were also asked to perform a couple of songs at the F.E.LIONS Luncheon on Sept. 29. 

When it came to choosing the show, Effler said he first got the idea when he saw previews of the show before it opened in 2005.

“We always have more women than men in the department and I figured since the show had a lot of women it would work well. I just hadn’t gotten around to doing it until recently,” Effler explained. 

The original director scheduled for the production had to drop before auditions. After this, Effler was able to get Castay’s information through a friend in New Orleans, and after contacting her, Castay agreed to do the show. 

He added on how enjoyable Castay was to work with and how she was a woman who could get the job done. 

“She’s a total dream. She has the students firmly in hand, but is so pleasant to work with. She’s very down to earth and has directed before in the New Orleans area. She’s directed at NOCCA, the performing arts school, so she’s worked with high schoolers before and it’s not totally foreign to her to be working with college age kids instead of semi-professionals,” Effler said. 

Emily Songy, a sophomore early childhood education major, played the main March sister Jo on Oct. 7 and was thrilled to learn she got the part. She also expressed her enjoyment of working with Castay, recalling that she would not have been able to portray Jo in the way she did without Castay’s direction.  

When reflecting on the show process, Songy said, “My favorite part of the show was definitely meeting so many new people and getting to work with this amazing cast. I was apprehensive since I was not a music major, but they welcomed me with open arms into their family and I couldn’t be happier.” 

“Little Women” was met with good audience reception and rounds of applause on both nights at the Columbia on its main stage. For more information on future productions by the Southeastern Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop, their events can be found on the university calendar as well as their Instagram @southeasternsings and FaceBook by the same handle.